Leslie Morgan Steiner is the editor of the best-selling anthology Mommy Wars and the author of "On Balance," The Washington Post's popular online column on work/life issues.


Leslie Morgan Steiner is a graduate of Harvard University and Wharton Business School. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and three children.


Updated to add: In May 2008, several months after this interview, Leslie Morgan Steiner joined the Mommy Tracked team as one of our featured columnists! Leslie now writes Two Cents on Modern Motherhood. Leslie also recently published her second book, Crazy Love.


Can you tell us about your book Mommy Wars?


Mommy Wars is a collection of 26 essays by working and at-home moms exploring their choices (and lack of choices) as they combine work and kids. The essays are brief, funny, sad and totally candid.


I wrote Mommy Wars because as a working mom with three kids, I was very curious about — and jealous of — moms who seemed happy “just” staying home. I was also puzzled by working moms who seemed stuck in jobs that didn’t give them enough time with their children. Mommy Wars is about what life is really like for working and stay-at-home moms, according to the experts on motherhood — moms.


The contributors range in age from 26 to 72. The writers include an ambitious working mom with an MBA from Harvard to a Latina single mom whose cancer taught her the joys of being home with her kids to a typical stay-at-home mom demoralized by never-ending volunteer projects. The essayists include famous moms like Jane Smiley and Susan Cheever to moms who’d never published anything before Mommy Wars.


My hope is that Mommy Wars will make you laugh, cry and at some point throw the book across the room — because moms are opinionated about work and kids.

My goal is for every mom who reads this book to feel better about being a mother. Because we all struggle with how much of our lives to give to our families, our work and ourselves.


How do you manage to balance work and family?